As you head into summer break, don’t forget to keep living green! From food to fuel, here are seven tips to help make your summer more sustainable.
1. OPEN THE WINDOWS
The summer months can be hot, but on the days that it’s bearable, turn off the central air conditioning, throw open the windows and use ceiling fans to keep the house or apartment cool. Running a fan on high can make a room feel five degrees cooler. Not only is it energy efficient, it can help reduce your electric bill for the month!
2. PACK FOR A PICNIC
Summer is the perfect time to pack a picnic with friends and family to enjoy the nice weather! A great way to ‘green’ a picnic is purchasing reusable cups, plates and silverware, which will cut down on trash and save money! You can even add a little more green by purchasing products made out of recycled content!
3. BUG OFF
Before spraying your backyard or other venues to keep bugs away during your summertime gatherings, consider some natural alternatives. Citronella candles and torches can offer a festive touch, natural lighting and keep bugs at bay.
4. SUSTAINABLE SUNSCREEN
It’s recommended by health professionals to use a sunscreen when spending a day in the sun. No one enjoys the lobster look or feel and it’s not healthy for your skin! Most sunscreens protect against sun damage but some may be polluting and toxic to water ecosystems. Try Badger Sunscreen, an all-natural sunscreen option that offers protection for your skin and the environment!
5. MAKE YOUR TRAVELS MORE SUSTAINABLE
When planning for road trips, fun outdoor activities or even a night out on the town this summer, coordinate a carpool with friends and family to reduce the amount of environmental impact cars create. This is a great way to help the environment and save money.
Don’t have a car? You can utilize the very reliable CyRide in Ames, or invest in a bike to get you from place to place. More than 10 pounds of carbon is produced from just one gallon of gas, so consider alternative transportation first when roaming around town this summer.
6. GO LOCAL
Summertime is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your local farmers’ markets produce. Buying local, fresh produce like sweet corn or watermelon from one of the farmers’ markets helps the local economy and let’s you indulge in some very fresh produce! Check out local farmers’ markets on vacation too. Experiencing new produce that is grown in different areas is both fun and tasty!
7. HIT THE LIGHTS
Many homeowners use outdoor lights to illuminate their surroundings at night. Instead of demanding more electricity, consider solar powered lights! Solar lights collect sunlight all day and convert it to energy to add just the right amount of light at night.
Solar lights are inexpensive and they do not attract the evening insects that traditional lighting does. You can choose from solar lights for your sidewalks, decks and even driveways, and they are available at most hardware and gardening stores, like Lowe’s.
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